Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, November 24, 1999

Amfac to add jobs at Kauai sugar unit

KEKAHA -- Amfac said a change in the way it processes sugar will result in 14 new jobs on Kauai, boosting the company's number of employees to 481. The company plans to close it Kekaha Sugar mill and truck sugar cane to the Lihue Plantation mill for processing. Gary Grottke, president of Amfac Sugar Kauai, said 35 factory and harvesting personnel at Kekaha will be displaced. All will be offered existing or new positions with the company on Kauai, he said. The change will result in a net increase of 14 jobs.

Met Life planning huge stock offering

WASHINGTON -- Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. filed plans for an initial public offering that could raise as much as $6.5 billion, the most ever in a U.S. sale of new shares.

The second-largest U.S. life insurer plans to go public in March after 85 years of ownership by its policyholders. After the sale, the New York-based company will distribute shares or cash to the 11.1 million customers holding Met Life policies.

Others including Prudential Life Insurance Co. of America and John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. also plan to switch to public ownership to have stock to buy rivals, pay employees and raise money as the industry competes for the savings of Baby Boomers nearing retirement age.

Hormel to split stock; up dividend

AUSTIN, Minn. -- Hormel Foods Corp., makers of Spam and other canned foods, said today it plans to split its stock two shares for one. The company plans to issue additional shares on Feb. 15. The split would double the number of common shares to 400 million. The company also said it has increased its annual dividend to 70 cents a share before the split, from 66 cents.

In other news . . .

Bullet REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- ExciteAtHome Corp. said today that consumers will be able to sign up for its AtHome high-speed Internet service through PC maker Compaq Corp. The deal gives ExciteAtHome an opportunity to reach computer buyers. By visiting Compaq's Web site, ExciteAtHome said, consumers will be able to sign up for AtHome and arrange for installation.

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